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Redwood Materials To Launch $3.5 Billion Plant To Solve EV Major Crisis

Redwood Materials, a battery recycling company founded by former Tesla chief technical officer Jeffrey “JB” Straubel, is opening a $3.5 billion plant in South Carolina to solve the problem of EV batteries.

One of the biggest issues electric vehicle makers face in their fight to reduce climate change is the production of their vehicles. From mining for materials to production, their is a lot of CO2 emissions from their processes. Even importing the materials from other locations is a source of pollution.

This is where Redwood Materials hopes to step in. Straubel is no novice when it comes to challenges with EV making and he spent 15 years at Tesla, starting from when there were just four people at the company in 2004, before Elon Musk took over.

By recycling EV batteries locally, Redwood could save carmakers billions of dollars, reduce dependence on foreign suppliers, and reduce emissions. It says that its 600-acre plant will be powered with clean electricity. The company plans to hire about 1,500 employees over the course of a decade, while producing 100 GWh of cathode and anode components every year.

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South Carolina approved about $225 million in taxpayer-funded debt for the company, according to reports. And Redwood said that CO2 emissions of the EV battery materials will be reduced by 80%, compared to what is currently available from Asian suppliers.

Redwood Materials plant
Image Source: TechCrunch/Redwood Materials.

The company breaks down the wastes from battery-making processes at Tesla, Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Amazon, Lyft, and others. It strips out and refines the nickel, cobalt, and copper in EV batteries it receives and these can be re-used in making new ones. Of course, the company would face competition as many foreign automakers are also racing to begin battery plants in the US too.

GM, Ford, BMW, Volkswagen, Hyundai, Honda, and others have revealed plans to start assembling cars in factories in the country with plans to get them fully operational before 2030.

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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.